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UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit Prelims Preview/Predictions part 2

Good evening maniacs,

Here's the second part to my preview of this weekends upcoming event. Let know your predictions, or don't if you're doing one of the pools. Good luck in your picks!!!

Here's a link to part 1.

Ufc143_presale_04_medium_medium

Bantamweight bout: Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
Background: Caceres is 6-4 and Figueroa is 8-1

-Alex Caceres - 23 years old - 5'9" - Reach: 70"
- "Bruce Leeroy" was born in Miami, Florida and made his pro debut in 2008 at G-Force Fights(Godzilla Reference?). He opened his career with 4 straight wins with four stoppages, including 3 submissions. He then lost his next two by armbar. He rebounded with a TKO victory then signed on with TUF. He didn't win the competition but was given a shot in the UFC. He lost his first two fights by rear naked choke. One to BJJ brown belt Mackens Semezier, and the other to grappling savant Jimy Hettes. He dropped down to bantamweight and won his first fight there against former WEC featherweight champ Cole Escovedo by decision. He's a good finisher, with a 83% finish rate, he wrestled in high school and does have an understanding of submissions, but clearly has to work on his defensive grappling, all four of his losses are by submission. His striking is good but not spectacular. He's 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMtP1jsPvkU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV2KInsI-Fw

-Edwin Figueroa - 27 years old - 5'7" - Reach: 69"
-Figueroa was born in McKinney, Texas and made his pro debut in 2007 at Art of War 2. He opened his career with 7 straight victories, all stoppages. He's only been to decision once: his UFC debut against BJJ brown belt Michael McDonald in a Fight of the Night winner, his only loss, a fight he two only less than two weeks notice. He rebounded with a TKO victory over Jason Reinhardt. He is a very competent striker, with a solid Muay Thai base. This is the area where he as a clear advantage over Bruce Leeroy. He has solid submissions as well, hanging with McDonald in their fight. His finishing ratio for wins in 100%, and he is 5-1 in his last 6 fights.
Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rkr8AKZJ2k

My Pick: I think that Caceres is a good striker. I think Figueroa is better. I think Caceres needs to keep working on his ground game. I think Figueroa will submit Caceres if it goes there. Caceres is a fan favorite, partly because of his time on the Ultimate Fighter, partly because he's a likeable person, but because he's so inconsistent, I think it's going to be a bad night for him. I think it's going to stay on the feet, and Figueroa is either going to get a KO late or win the decision.

Welterweight bout: Matt Riddle vs. Henry Martinez
Background: Riddle is 5-3 and Martinez is 8-1

-Matt Riddle - 26 years old - 6'1" - Reach: 76"

-Riddle was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and made his pro debut in 2008 at the TUF 7 Finale. Because all of his pro fights have been in the UFC, he has had a true trial by fire.. Has he faced world beaters? No, but they at least had shots in the worlds largest MMA promotion. His biggest wins are over probably the victories over Dante Rivera and DeMarques Johnson. He does however have three losses, one to 2-3 (UFC) Nick Osipczak, a loss to 1-2 (UFC) Sean Pierson, and the other to newcomer 1-0 (UFC) Lance Benoist. He hasn't beaten anyone of note, and his losses are against fighters who are either not ready, or will likely never be title holders nor challenge for titles. He's an exciting fighter though with good cardio, he has decent striking and he's a purple belt in BJJ, and was a championship level high school wrestler. He's 2-2 in his last 4 fights and is on a 2 fight losing streak. He is also taking this fight on about a months notice.

-Henry Martinez - 28 years old - 5'7" - Reach: N/A
-Martinez was born in the United States and made his pro debut in 2006. If 5'7" seems short for a welterweight, there's a reason for that. He normally fights at lightweight. Announced earlier today, Martinez is stepping in on less than a weeks notice to fight a larger fighter. His last fight was on January 21st, nine days ago, winning by reverse triangle choke in the second round against Ali Hanjani at Jackson's MMA Series 7. This is a lightweights big break, a chance to get an upset against a larger fighter. He's a good finisher with 6 of his 8 wins coming by stoppage, 75%, with 2 TKOs and 4 submissions. His one and only loss is by decision back in 2009 in Bellator. He's a great prospect, and coming out of Jackson's MMA, we know he's well trained. From what I can tell he's more of a grappler, but not much to go on.

My Pick: This one should be pretty clear to everyone. Martinez has no advantages in this fight. He's probably in good shape, but may have an issue with being over trained, and I just doubt he's going to be physically ready. He's going to be undersized, but I expect him to survive to a decision loss. Riddle by decision.

Featherweight bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway
Background: Poirier is 11-1 and Holloway is 4-0

-Dustin Poirier - 23 years old - 5'9" - Reach: 73" (
Ranked 7th Featherweight)
-Poirier was born in Lafayette, Louisiana and made his pro debut in 2009. A WEC and now UFC standout, Poirier is a top 10 featherweight and he is the clear favorite in the is fight. Even though he's only 23 years old he has good experience with wins over Pablo Garza, Jason Young, and Josh Grispi. His lone loss was to Danny Castillo at WEC 50 in 2010. A good finisher, 9 of his 11 wins are by stoppage, 5 by KO/TKO and 4 by submission. He was last seen in November, winning by d'arce choke in the second round at UFC on Fox 1. A purple belt in BJJ, he is comfortable off his back and isn't going to be lost on the ground if or when it goes there. He's a good striker, but don't expect him to go win a K-1 title. He's 4-1 in his last 5 fights.
Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtlyBoAsIdk

-Max Holloway - 20 years old - 6'1" - Reach: N/A
-Holloway was born in Wai'Anae, Hawaii and made his pro debut in 2010. Holloway was recently part of Bloodyelbows scouting report. At 4-0, he doesn't have a lot of experience but he's fought some OK competition, or at the very least experienced to a fault more than he is. From the videos and the article he is clearly an aggressive and talented Muay Thai striker. He is fast and full of energy, so expect him to push the pace in the fight. If the fight goes to the ground don't expect him to win the fight against Poirier, but I favor him if it stays standing. He has only one win by stoppage, a KO in his second fight, all others have been to decision.
Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KepU6s-hOgI

My Pick: Holloway took this fight on about a months notice, and he is a bright prospect. He is probably the faster, better conditioned fighter. But I don't think he's got the necessary experience to win this fight against the world ranked Poirier. Expect Poirier to take this fight down, and submit the novice. Poirier wins by submission in the second round.

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